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Michael Joe Murdaugh - Arizona
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Thread: Michael Joe Murdaugh - Arizona

  1. #1
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    Michael Joe Murdaugh - Arizona





    Summary of Offense:

    On June 26, 1995, Murdaugh's girlfriend, Rebecca Rohrs, met the victim, David Reynolds, at a bar. Rebecca told Murdaugh about Reynolds. Murdaugh told Rebecca to entice Reynolds to her house. When Reynolds arrived, Murdaugh and his friend, Jesse Dezarn, took Reynolds to a barn at gunpoint. Murdaugh severely beat Reynolds. Murdauah and his co-defendant, Dezarn, bound and gagged Reynolds and put him inside the trunk of their vehicle, where Murdaugh again beat Reynolds. After beating Reynolds to death, Murdaugh dumped Reynold's body in a remote area. Before leaving, however, he severed Reynold's head and hands, pulled out Reynold's teeth and buried the body parts.

    Murdaugh was sentenced to death on November 16, 2001.

  2. #2
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On October 6, 2010, Murdaugh filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over the denial of his habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir.../ca9/10-99020/

  3. #3
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    MICHAEL MURDAUGH V. CHARLES RYAN

    In today's opinions, the Ninth Circuit Court REVERSED in part and CONFIRMED in part the district court's denial of Murdaugh's petition for habeas relief.


    The panel reversed the district court's denial of relief as to petitioner's claim of error under Ring v Arizona.
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  4. #4
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    9th circuit upholds death sentence of Arizona man

    A federal appeals court has upheld the murder conviction and death sentence of an Arizona man for a 1995 killing.

    But the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco also ruled Friday that 59-year-old Michael Joe Murdaugh should get a new sentencing hearing.

    Murdaugh was convicted in January 2000 and sentenced to death in November 2001.

    The appeals court noted that he was sentenced by a judge instead of a jury.

    A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2002 held that juries and not judges must decide whether a defendant is eligible for the death penalty.

    Murdaugh was accused of severely beating a man and robbing him of $180 and a cellphone.

    The victim's body was taken to northern Arizona, where it was mutilated and buried.

    http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/22...of-arizona-man
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  5. #5
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, the State of Arizona's petition for a writ of certiorari was DENIED.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.a...es/13-1057.htm

  6. #6
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    June 24, 2014

    Double-killer gets chance to challenge death sentence anew after court ruling

    By JULIANNE DEFILIPPIS
    Cronkite News Service

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court’s ruling that convicted Arizona double-murderer Michael Murdaugh should get a new hearing on his death sentence.

    The court, without comment, refused to hear the state’s argument that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had stepped “far beyond” its authority when it ruled that Murdaugh should have been sentenced by a jury instead of a judge.

    Murdaugh, who pleaded guilty to two brutal beating deaths in 1995, was sentenced by a judge in 2001 to life in the first murder and death in the second.

    The Arizona Attorney General’s Office said in an emailed statement that it was “disappointed the Supreme Court did not correct the erroneous interpretation” of the law in the case, but would not comment further.

    But lawyers for Murdaugh said the circuit court decision was proper, and they were pleased with Monday’s decision.

    “We agree with the 9th Circuit decision and we’re happy that the right to a jury was upheld,” said Paula Harms, assistant federal public defender and Murdaugh’s lead counsel.

    Murdaugh was one of 21 capital defendants in Arizona who was sentenced to death by a judge, instead of a jury, before 2002, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that practice unconstitutional.

    On review, the Arizona Supreme Court determined that 19 of those death-row inmates were eligible for resentencing by a jury. Murdaugh and another capital convict were not granted a resentencing.

    The state court said the lack of a jury sentencing was “harmless” in Murdaugh’s case because “no rational juror could have found leniency and sentenced Murdaugh to life.”

    One of the factors leading Murdaugh’s death sentence was the “especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner” of the killing.

    He was arrested in June 1995 for killing David Reynolds, after Reynolds propositioned Murdaugh’s girlfriend, according to court documents. Murdaugh had the girlfriend lure Reynolds to her house, where he and a friend confronted Reynolds. They eventually took Reynolds to Murdaugh’s garage where they forced him in to the trunk of a car and kept him overnight while they and others did drugs.

    The next day, court records say, Murdaugh hit Reynolds in the head with a meat tenderizer before beating him to death with a jackhammer spike.

    Murdaugh then dismembered Reynolds in an attempt to prevent identification of the remains. Court documents say he “cut off Reynolds’s head and hands, sliced off Reynolds’s finger pads and pulled out Reynolds’s teeth,” throwing the teeth and finger pads out his truck window as he drove to bury the body. He “buried the head and hands in one shallow grave and the torso in another.”

    Murdaugh was arrested within days and confessed to killing Reynolds. When police asked about a similar killing in May, when Douglas Eggert was beaten to death with a meat tenderizer, Murdaugh confessed to that death, too.

    He pleaded guilty to both murders “to avoid putting his family and those of the victims through a trial.” He entered into a plea agreement in which the state would not seek the death penalty for the first murder, but could use that as an aggravating factor to seek a death sentence in the second murder.

    Murdaugh also instructed his attorney not to present mitigating evidence at sentencing.

    Still, the judge considered more than a dozen mitigating factors, including Murdaugh’s chronic drug use, the fact that he was on methamphetamine during the murder, that he suffered from paranoid thoughts, had admitted guilt and expressed concern toward his victims’ families. But she determined that they were outweighed by the aggravating factors, and issued a death sentence.

    A year later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ring v. Arizona that capital sentencing by a judge alone denied defendants their Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial.

    The 9th Circuit ordered a new sentencing, citing Ring, but the state appealed, arguing that Ring only applies to jury consideration of aggravating, not mitigating, factors. It said the appellate court exceeded its authority by expanding Ring.

    The Supreme Court declined to hear the case Monday, letting the circuit court ruling stand.

    The state has 90 days to seek a new sentencing hearing, Harms said, and she expects it will. She said the question is whether the state will try for the death penalty again or life in prison, which Murdaugh is already serving in Eggert’s murder.

    “Nothing about the conviction is overturned, the death sentence is simply no longer valid,” Harms said. “It is now up to the state to choose.”

    http://explorernews.com/news/article...9bb2963f4.html

  7. #7
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Neil123's Avatar
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    What when on here? This is why I railed against Apprendi v. New Jersey before it’s a travesty! Plus, in 2004, they ruled that Ring was not retroactive so what was the problem with this?!
    Last edited by Neil123; 05-22-2020 at 01:31 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    What's your specific disagreement with the Apprendi other than the fact it led to the Ring decision. The whole point of the case was that it was violation of the constitutional right to a jury' if the judge enhanced the sentence based on factors that weren't found by the Jury. For instance if the sentence can be enhanced if it was racially aggravated' the jury has to find him guilty on that basis. That seems pretty fair. The judge's sentence should be based on facts found by the jury rather than assumptions. Scalia was not someone who ruled in favour of criminal defendants unless the constitution demanded it..

    As for retroactivity, Murdaugh's direct appeal was still pending when Ring was decided so he was always eligible. The AZ Supreme Court ruled against him initially on an harmless error basis but the 9th disagreed. John Sansing has a similar issue pending currently at the 9th.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Neil123's Avatar
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    He was in favor of another decision simply the opposite of Ring in 1990 so what changed the mans views in 12 years? As for his particular case, the last thing I could find on him was in 2018. He’s not Arizona’s death row roster. Either he was given a life sentence or they have to recalibrate him on to death row again.
    Last edited by Neil123; 05-22-2020 at 10:07 AM.

  10. #10
    Administrator Aaron's Avatar
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    I remember seeing a documentary on this guy and being really disappointed when I found out he managed to unjustly avoid his punishment. This piece of trash absolutely is a "just take him out back and shoot him" case for sure.

    But I'm conflicted on Apprendi. On one hand I dislike jury trials, especially with death penalty cases, because most people are too stupid and inept to be trustworthy for such a responsibility.

    On the other hand, jury trials allow for jury nullification. Jury nullification is going to become integral to the maintenance of liberty as the government continues to encroach on freedom. There's a much bigger picture than the realm of capital punishment.
    "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook." - Harry Truman

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